tv Martin Bashir MSNBC May 23, 2013 1:00pm-2:01pm PDT
>> any time bombs are used to target innocent siecivilians, i an act of terror. the united states has conducted an operation that killed osama bin laden. earlier this morning, anwar al alawki. after nearly nine years america's war in iraq will be over. an attack on our diplomatic post in benghazi. where we've fallen short is closing guantanamo. not for lack of trying. guantanamo is not necessary. it's expensive. a recruitment tool for extremists. it needs to be closed. durable legal and policy framework to guide our counterterrorism efforts. no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation. our actions are effective, our actions are legal, but they
may not always be wise or moral. those are the words of the president just a short time ago giving the first major national security speech of his second term. addressing some of the thornier aspects of his foreign policy including drone strikes and the prison at guantanamo bay, the president sought to outline his guiding principles of law and war on what is an evershifting battlefield facing an ever-evolving threat. >> america's at a crossroads. we must define the nature and scope of this struggle or else it will define us. neither i nor any president can promise the total defeat of terror. what we can do, what we must do, is dismantle networks that pose a direct danger to us and make it less likely for new groups to gain a foothold. all the while maintaining the freedoms and ideals that we defend. >> and in the most anticipated aspect of his speech, the
president announced a scaling back of his administration's controversial use of unmanned drones to kill suspected terrorists and foreign enemies. that announcement comes a day after the justice department acknowledged that four u.s. citizens were killed with drone strikes outside the traditional battlefield. facing fierce criticism over the unfettered reach of drones and their deadly civilian toll, the president defended the program, highlighting the case of anwar al awlaki. >> for the record, i do not believe it would be constitutional for the government to target and kill any u.s. citizen with a drone or with a shotgun without due process. but when a u.s. citizen goes abroad to wage war against america and is actively plotting to kill u.s. citizens, and when neither the united states nor our partners are in a position to capture him before he carries out a plot, his citizenship
should no more serve as a shield than a sniper shooting down on an innocent crowd should be protected from a s.w.a.t. team. >> an confronting his own frustration and failure of a publicly stated objective, the president said he'll revive efforts to close the prison at guantanamo bay, where more than 100 of 166 detainees are on hunger strike. an issue a protester brought to heated confrontation. >> so today, once again -- >> there are 102 people on hunger strike. these desperate people. >> i'm about to address it, ma'am, but you've got to let me speak. i'm about to address it. >> you are commander in chief. >> let me address it. you should let me finish my sentence. today, i once again call on congress to left the restrictions on detainee transfers from gitmo. >> the president went on to say that the politics are hard, but history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism unless
our strategy evolves. let's get right to our panel now. here with me in new york, msnbc contributor joy reid who's managing editor of the grios.com. in washington, msnbc political analyst david corn of "mother jones" magazine. david, in your latest piece you refer to the president's speech, as, i'm quoting you, a new realism in dealing with terrorism. when the president said that our actions are effective and legal, but not always moral and wise, do you think he was critiquing his own policy on drone strikes up until now? >> i thought in his speech he was a very candid and straightforward sort of consideration, contemplation, of the very horrid challenges that faces any president when you have to balance, you know, how to protect the country, how to deal with terrorism, how to deal with civil liberties, how to deal with the press. he got into that as well. and realizing just because you can do something and justify it legally, as we saw in the bush years, may not always be the wise policy. >> so do you think, david, that
the president was critiquing his management of the war on terror, the use of drones, in that speech? >> i think he was saying that there is a downside to using drones when you create civilian casualties that turns the population against you. and that's been the criticism within his administration and we do see a ratcheting down of drone use over the last couple of months and now seems it's going to continue on orders from the president. so i think -- i don't think he was critiquing or criticizing himself, but i do think he was recognizing that this is an analysis within his own administration he is sympathetic toward and in terms of new realism, i think this was one of the first times we've heard a president really say, you know, when it comes to terrorism, we have to keep it in perspective. it's hard to say that without being accused of being weak on it, but we have lots of challenges, lots of threats, and we can't let this define us as
opposed to us defining how we should deal with it. >> right. okay. joy, the president explained how an individual citizenship cannot be used as a shield if he's determined to murder americans. will that argument satisfy those who've expressed concern about the targeting of american citizens in this ongoing war? >> well, probably not because -- and what's really fascinating, martin, we're sort of seeing for the first time since 9/11 a president kind of grappling with these issues of citizenship versus, you know, declaring war on the country and national security in the open. after 9/11 there was sort of this fear that caused an onrush of legislation that felt like it was whisked through without constitution. we're watching our constitutional law president grapple with these things publicly. that's fascinating. the pressure from the left, the pressure from the most liberal part of his base and libertarians right and left, they're saying there's a constitutional protection one carries overseas. if you think about, let's say,
the analogy in during the vietnam war, if an american had joined ho chi minh's army, would that person then be protected on the battlefield and obtain due process from the soldiers who confronted that person on a battlefield? on a physical battlefield, it's a pretty simple question to ask, no, probably not. they're not going to send the fbi over to vietnam and arrest that person because they're an american citizen. does this apply when anwar al awlaki who's an american citizen joins the battlefield, let's say, in yemen? then civil libertarians are saying, yes, that person should be arrested and given due process. if this person declared war on the country and is engaged actively in that war, it's a really difficult line. i think the president is going to continue to grapple with it with a lot of his base. >> david, you wanted to throw your two in on that point. >> i thought it was very interesting in the letter attorney general eric holder sent to congress yesterday and in the president's own speech they went to great lengths to explain the awlaki decision and talked about how it wasn't just
part of al qaeda, he was engaged in active plotting. i mean, i think it's kind of stunning, i'm sorry this wasn't in primetime. i'm not sure the ratings would have been that high. but to watch a president in public grappling, as joy says, with some of these very tough issues -- i'm very sympathetic to the civil libertarian critics of the fpresident. >> right. >> here he was making a good case as one can for cares about that but said i have responsibilities and can't take the aclu line straight down the line. >> on to gitmo, if i can, joy, you heard the protester there. we only showed one part. she actually broke into the president speaking several times. it's obviously a difficult issue. he acknowledged that. he also referenced the fact she was justified in speaking out about the issue. but people don't seem to understand that this is not his to resolve, alone. this is a congressional problem that he has tried to resolve. but once again, guess who's stopping him? >> yeah. the congress. and it's interesting he did
bring up specifically that congress has a role to play here and asked them to lift the restrictions. people forget when president obama was first elected in his first term, one of his first two or three executive orders, there were two executive orders that ordered gitmo closed. there was an immediate vote there after, republicans and democrats said, alike, can't do it. restrictions, "a" you can't bring the folks on american soil, try them and release them. two, congress said you can release anybody you want from gitmo but guarantee they will never commit terrorism. that means we're going to send them to yemen which doesn't have control necessarily in the people, what they're doing. anwar awlaki, again, being an example. the president would have to take a tremendous risk that none of these people would ever commit a terrorist act and certify that to congress. now, congress could lift that certification, could make it easier for countries willing to take these people. and, again, that's hard to find, too. >> there are several european countries willing to do. >> if you can streamline that process and congress could lift that restriction, it could happen. or there's been thinking in the
legal community he could declare an end on the war on terror and release the people. there is a risk. you can't say we're going to release people and there's zero risk any of these folks -- remember, george bush released people back to yemen who then returned quote/unquote to the battlefield. >> david? >> it's interesting the white house did have a very developed planned to build or revive a supermax facility in illinois, but to do that, it needed some money and congress, democrats and republicans, said no. we're not going to fund this. and liberals and others have said the president can do all sorts of things with executive orders and such. i really think that's a hard case to make. he has tried, when the politics were with him, then when the politics were against him. now he's sort of tried to bring this issue -- i don't think there's much of a political gain -- back to center stage. whether he can swing any of the republicans -- i think he can convince some democrats now. but republicans with their, you know, pledge of oath to the united states of obstructionism, it's going to be hard to see
them do anything on this because, you know, they keep trying to make obama look like he's weak on terrorism. i'm still waiting to see john mccain on the 27 sunday shows this week saying that obama has shown the white flag on the war on terrorism because he's talking about it in realistic terms. >> yeah. absolutely. david corn, joy reid. thank you both for your expertise. >> thank you, martin. next, a shocking act of terror in broad daylight has rocked my home city. now a nation and the world is taking notice. stay with us. i have low testosterone. there, i said it. see, i knew testosterone could affect sex drive, but not energy or even my mood. that's when i talked with my doctor. he gave me some blood tests... showed it was low t. that's it. it was a number. [ male announcer ] today, men with low t have androgel 1.62% testosterone gel. the #1 prescribed topical testosterone replacement therapy increases testosterone when used daily. women and children should avoid contact with application sites.
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victim was released. 25-year-old lee rigby, a member of the second battalion was hacked to death by two men who allegedly attacked him just outside his military barracks in southeast london on wednesday. last night a right wing group clashed with police as they campaigned against what they described as militant islam. several mosques were attacked in other parts of the country. this followed graphic and disturbing images of one of the suspects just minutes after the attack explaining his motives to a passerby. >> i apologize that women had to witness this today, but in our land, our women have to see the same. you people will never be safe. your government, they don't care about you. >> joining now from london, annabelle roberts. this was a gruesome attack that led to an ugly protest last night. can you bring us up to date with the very latest developments? >> yes, i can, martin. in fact, two more people have been arrested this evening in
london in connection with this attack. a man and a woman, both 29 years old, currently being questioned by police. also it's become apparent throughout the day the two men who were arrested at the scene, who were injured yesterday are currently being treated in hospital. both of them,s one known to security services, they had both been subject to investigation in the past. now, of course, one of the key questions facing investigators is were these two men acting alone? are they lone wolves or part of a bigger group? it's unclear to say what the arrest of these two more suspects indicates, but it all adds information to that. and, of course, president obama has made a statement about the attack saying that the u.s. stands resolute with the uk against extremism, and his thoughts are with the family of lee rigby, the victim. martin? >> right. the other issue that's arisen,
annabel, concerns the response time of the police to this incident. as you know, as a result of austerity cuts, police numbers in the uk have dropped to their lowest level in over a decade. is it your understanding that people feel the police were slow to respond to this incident? >> well, initial reports were that they took over 30 minutes to get to the scene yesterday. however, they have come out very, very strongly this afternoon saying that that is not true. that they had officers armed, officers on the way to the scene within five minutes and they were there within 14 minutes of having received the first call to alert them that there was this violent attack. so they are coming out very, very forcefully to say that they acted swiftly to get to the scene. martin? >> annabel roberts in london. thank you, annabel. let's hear now from one of those protesters who was out there tangling with the police last night. take a listen. >> enough's enough. our message is enough's enough. we have weak leaders, weak
police. our police, our leaders tiptoe around this issue. this issue is political islam. it's political islam spreading across this country. >> joining us for more on this, richard wolffe, executive editor of msnbc.com. we should point out the young man we heard from there is part of the group called the english defense league. far right almost fascist group. that's part of a movement in the uk that seems to be joining strength at the moment. to our mutual consternation. >> it's not just in the uk, right? it's across europe. we're seeing the rise of extreme right wing groups. it's not disconnected, of course, to economic hardship and austerity measures as well. we've seen that throughout european history. actually throughout world history. but, of course, there is a barbaric event in the middle of all this independent of whatever you're seeing from, frankly, the right wing thugs out there. that's what we saw, extraordinary scenes in london. you know. by the way, not just the murderous scenes. a lot of attention has been placed on these people who wanted to be filmed on cell
phone cameras, making these outrageous statements. but incredible bravery from the bypassers who intervened to stop them from proceeding with any more attacks. >> indeed. we understand that these individuals, one of whom, or both of whom were both born in the uk. >> right. >> they don't appear to have any particular connection to a nexus of terrorism, yet they were on the radar of the police in the uk. there are terrible echos near of the tsarnaev brothers. >> for a start, when you think about what's on the radar of the terrorism forces in the uk, you're talking about thousands if not tens of thousands of people. >> just like here. >> right. exactly. so the idea that all of them could be monitored or all of them could be locked up is nonsensic nonsensical. it would be nice to live in that world. actually would probably be terrifying to live in that world because you're talking about some very loose types of intelligence. you can't actually imagine a world where that number of people can be tracked that closely. you'd be in a police state.
so number two, this is not a new problem for the uk. before 9/11, there were quote/unquote homegrown terrorists. jihadis. i actually went to school with one of them. somebody who ended up in guantanamo bay. there were people involved in jihadi radical islamist movement in my old town in birmingham where these things were cropping up before al qaeda. they will crop up after al qaeda is long gone and forgotten and good riddance to them. this is not new, and the tactics involved, these weren't 9/11-style tactics. it's not mass murder. this was psychopathic, brutal, bloody barbaric murder. >> yet, to your point, isn't that marking and underscoring what the president said today about a need for vigilance? because people are capable of perpetrating these acts with minimal tools, with no external support, and often in an aphazard manner. >> remember, the cowards, these murderous cowards ran over that poor army drummer first before
inflicting these awful wounds on him. are there murderous cowards out there? yes, there are. there has to be community vigilance. clearly these people were known to their community. there are early reports now about whether they did have, in fact, contacts with other islamist groups, recruitment groups. but this isn't a top-down -- this is not a cell. to even call them terrorists is to upgrade what they are and what they are done. this is not an organized plot. as far as we know it, these are two people who in the words, the immortal words of the tsarnaevs who were really losers and sadly they took out their barbaric events and their hatred on this poor young man. >> right. david cameron mentioned this woman who actually confronted one of the attackers on wednesday. let's take a listen. >> were you not scared for yourself in that situation? >> no. >> why not? >> better me than a child. >> you and i know that having lived through 30 years of the ira's activity on mainland
britain, that reaction is not surprising, is it? >> no, it's not. incredible courage. resilience. honestly, shocking resilience and courage from -- i believe she's a cub scouts leader. that woman. >> she is. >> you know, there's something very british, if i may say so, about how understated she is about the extraordinary things that she did yesterday. and she stabilized the situation that could have been extremely volatile, but police did take some time to arrive. whether or not that was justified, we don't know. but incredible scenes. and sadly, extremely hard to stop. not just the ira. remember back into the '70s and '80s there was sporadic terrorist attacks across europe. this is something, sadly, that's been with europe for many, many decades. now it has a different face on it. >> indeed it does. richard wolffe, thank you so much. coming up, chris hayes will join us to discuss the president's speech on terror. first on this rainy afternoon in new york city, ted
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i guess that's what the lesson that can be learned here. >> just the house republicans? who's the wackobird now, senator mccain? stay with us. the day's top lines are coming up. i have not done anything wrong. >> lois lerner, an irs official and i believe superman's ex-girlfriend. are you still sleeping? just wanted to check and make sure that we were on schedule. the first technology of its kind... mom and dad, i have great news. is now providing answers families need. siemens. answers.
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from the distaste with the irs, to an apple a day. here are today's top lines. tale of two tax hearings. >> i've been advised by my counsel to assert my constitutional right not to testify or answer questions. >> lois lerner, an irs official and i believe superman's ex-girlfriend. >> i know some people assume i've done something wrong. i have not. >> is it possible that we could
narrow the scope of questioning? >> i will not answer any questions or testify today. i have not done anything wrong. >> you don't get to tell your side of the story and then not be subjected to cross-examination. >> i have not violated any irs rules or regulations. >> let's all be republicrocrats and demicons today. >> apple's chief tim cook facing outraged senators. >> what i really want to ask is why the hell i have to keep updating the apps on my iphone. >> we're trying to make them better all the time. >> i'm offended by a $4 trillion government bullying, berating and badgering one of america's greatest success stories. if anyone should be on trial here, it should be congress. i, frankly, think the committee should apologize to apple. >> i want to i [ bleep ] you. >> let's get to our panel. joining us from washington is msnbc contributor and president of voter latino, maria teresa
kumar. also in washington is "chicago tribune" columnist the great clarence page. welcome to you both. earlier today speaker boehner spoke out about the irs scandal. i'd like you both to listen to his great words. >> we don't know how deep this extends within the administration, that's why our committees are going to continue to investigate this. but what is most troubling, in this white house, is that the lights are on, but there doesn't seem to be anybody at home. the irs systemically violated the rights of americans for almost two years. the treasury department knew about this last year. the white house was made aware of it last month. yet, no one, no one thought that they should tell the president. fairly inconceivable to me. >> clarence, your reaction to boehner? >> well, he's repeating what we already know, and i think it's indicative of the tone that the republicans are taking.
understandably, because this is a bonanza for them going into the midterm elections with the ability to play the victim and fund raise. but beyond that, the story hasn't really moved down the field. >> yeah. mar maria teresa, what did you think of the bloviating boehner? >> he's on the wrong side of the issue in the sense the democrats are also outraged. everybody recognizes that the irs is incredibly sensitive and nobody wants anybody going after them. the fact he's going after the president is kind of tough because the democrats are also upset. you had javier becerra yesterday come out with a statement yesterday saying they needed to further the investigation as an example. he's barking up the wrong tree because, again, both democrats and republicans are saying we need to fix this. >> okay. excellent. so that was a complete waste of time. >> on my end? >> no, no, it was. apple ceo tim cook appeared before congress this week to discuss the company's tax practices. clarence, do you think we might see a change in the tax code as
a result of that investigation? >> i think -- what was that line that rand paul said? people ought to be investigated, our congress. this was one of those love fests, again. they just go bananas when they get a corporate ceo, especially a popular company like apple. but the real question here, while on the one hand they're going after the irs for alleged political bias, they are letting apple walk away with, what, $60 billion in untaxed overseas income because of laws they wrote, putting in loopholes just like this to help those corporations. >> that's right, maria. it is serious, isn't it? it's not just the american government. also there are governments across the world that are now sick and tired of companies taking taxpayers' dollars as they buy product, but the corporations, themselves, never paying any tax. >> right. i think fundamentally it's a matter of how do you revise a tax code?
clarence is absolutely right. right now the congress is basically going after the irs, but they, themselves, don't want to revisit and do the hard work which is how do we actually prewrite our laws so we close these loopholes and make sure everybody is paying their fair share? i think as long as the loopholes exist people are going to do what's right by the law but not right by the american people. >> we've done the irs scandal, we've done the tax scandal. i want to pivot to another scandal which is perhaps even more egregious and shockingly underreported. take a look at this photograph which was obtained exclusively by "time" magazine. a 17-year-old barack obama on his prom night. in a message, in a yearbook message to his friend's prom date, the president writes in part, "kelly, i hope we can keep in touch this summer ev. even though greg will be gone. call me up and i'll buy you lunch sometime." he goes on to sign it, "love barack obama."
hitting on your friend's prom date, that's a serious question, isn't it? >> i'd like to be a fly on the wall at the class reunion. i love that photo. pull out my high school photos, martin, i would be totally disgraced here. i do want to reassure everybody that that high school is not in a kenya. >> thank you for that. maria, your reaction to the president hitting on his best friend's girlfriend? >> kelly is wondering right now why she didn't call. right? >> indeed. maria teresa kumar and the great clarence page who i'm sure had a fabulous fro when he was 18. >> you better believe it. still ahead, my colleague and "all in" host chris hayes joins us to talk about the president's counterterrorism strategy. stay with us. i think farmers care more about the land than probably anyone else. we've had this farm for 30 years. we raise black and red angus cattle.
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it is is a hard fact that u.s. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties. for the families of those civilians, no words of legal construct can justify their loss. for me, and those in my chain of command, those deaths will haunt us as long as we live. but as commander in chief, i must weigh these heartbreaking tragedies against the alternatives. to do nothing in the face of terrorist networks would invite far more siecivilian casualties >> the president just a short time ago defending the use of drone strikes against terrorists who would target american civilians both here and abroad. joining me now is my colleague and friend, chris hayes, the host of "all in." chris, what was your reaction? i think both of us watched the speech live. what was your reaction? >> i thought it was a remarkable speech. i think, you know, there's a certain kind of -- barack obama gives a lot of speeches, and his speeches are, you know, analyzed
to death, right? there's a certain kind of barack obama speech that stands out. it's the kind of speech where there's some taboo in the air and he comes out and talks about it in a way that seems almost uncomfortably more honest than a politician should. and that was what made his 2004 convention speech remarkable, the famous race speech in -- >> jeremiah wright. >> exactly. in 2008. in this speech, that, when he said "i will be haunted until i day i die by the innocent civilians whose lives have been snuffed out at my command," that is a remarkably honest, frank, arresting, profound think to hear from the commander in chief of the united states. >> yet, chris, he explained how an individual's citizenship cannot act as a shield if he's determined to murder americans. does that continue to justify the targeting of americans? >> well, i don't -- well,
here -- let me respond this way. the president actually said something very interesting which is after he said that, he basically said, and by the way, we actually don't make much distinction in terms of the way we think about this. >> sure. >> we have a standard that we think clears due process, right? we have a standard that because -- this is an important point. the constitution doesn't say anything about citizens when it affords due process. it says no person. it specifically says in the person no person. right? so the president, himself, acknowledged that and said, look, actually we think we have a process internally that clears the due process threshold for anyone. whether they be a citizen or not. now, i think the big question is, we need to see what that process looks like. but he was very clearly making a constitutional argument there. >> okay. well senator lindsey graham has issued a response to the president's speech, and i'm sure it's as you'd expect. we shall hear it. nevertheless. >> administration's detention policy, quite frankly, been a failure. how many people have we captured and interrogated under the law
of war? every time we capture a terrorist, if we don't kill them, there have just been a handful. we bring them into the civilian court system and read them their rights. that's got to stop. >> your reaction to that? >> well, i thought, you know, probably my favorite part of the speech was the president's very forthright defense of the standard constitutional siecivin courts to handle terrorism cases. this is something they have been quite good about. you know, they did it with abdul mu mutallab, the underwear bomber. lindsey graham and john mccain the architecture of the right, the neoconservatives who still run the republican party are still donald rumsfeld circa 2002. everybody is still in that mindset. that's still the way they see the world. all the failures and horrors and tragedy that that brought about has not changed them one bit. >> okay. what was your reaction to when the president actually said that the war of terror must end?
>> incredibly -- >> because given the circumstances in which we're living, yesterday in london, two lunatics out of nowhere with no connection to any terrorist nexus or organization decide to hack a british soldier to death in the name of allah, as they said. where does the war end? >> well, this -- i thought that was such an important point. he says at one point, we cannot allow any group of thugs that calls itself al qaeda to bait us into an endless war. the point is, the tsarnaev brothers who the vice president called knockoff jihadis. these two suspects, i mean, hard to say suspects when you see them killing someone on camera, in london, they may say that they're some affiliate of something. these are just murderers. these are murderers. >> but nevertheless, those individuals used people to justify the fact that the war on terror continues. >> that's exactly right. >> in perpetuity. >> that i thought the president did an incredibly good job of distinguishing between a war against some actual set of forces and the fact that the
persistence of people, maniacs, extremists, murderers, criminals, the existences of those people out into the future who may do horrific things like what happened on the streets of london yesterday does not require us to be in a perpetual state of war. that's the most important point he made today and the most important point for american society to understand, we may never be able to create a world in which there are no tsarnaev brothers. we may never be able to create a world in which there are no men like those two men in london. but the fact that we may not be able to prevent that in perpetuity does not mean we have to be constantly as war. >> do you think the president has some timeframe in mind when he says this war must end? >> well, that is the big, huge open question in this speech. >> and he never referenced that. >> no. he said i want to begin talking to congress about bringing the end of the authority of the use of military force. that timeframe is the big open-ended question. i think we are going to see there are people in congress, barbara lee is one of them,
other members of congress who have been pushing for something to get rid of the old authorization use of military force. we're going to see, i think in congressional action, whether, how that plays out. >> so you don't think he has a timeframe that, perhaps, limits, takes action within this second term, for example? >> oh, i think -- >> as an aspiration, he'd like -- >> i would hope so. i think in the second term we will see -- >> when you heard him speaking about drone strikes, i was reminded of what faisal shishad, he said, when the bomb drones they don't see the children. the idea that this president used drones in an indiscriminate manner was cut short by what he said. >> i think the president made a strong and forthright argument for the use of drones. >> the statistics on this are consistent with that. in 2009 we had something like 54, down to 48 in 2012. this year, okay, we're only halfway through the year. we're talking about something
like 12. >> that's in pakistan. >> we. >> they have diminished greatly in pakistan largely because "a" "there was a strategic recognition they were doing more harm than good. just from a purely battlefield assessment of whether they were increasing or decreasing the threat to the american populous. they were so unpopular in pakistan they were destabilizing the pakistani government. destabilizing the pakistani government is not in the long-term strategic interest necessarily of the united states. i think the big question about drones, first of all, i think one of the things you're seeing in the president's speech today and in the actions is acknowledgement, acknowledgement that the critics of the drone system had something to their criticisms. it's not an accident that drone strikes are going down every year. that is because many of the criticisms of the blowback they were producing and the difficulty in making sure you distinguish between someone who's generally a threat and a child that happens to be nearby, those were legitimate critici criticisms. i think what you're seeing, the
administration is actually in its practice veering in the direction toward which many of the critics have been pointing. >> chris hayes, thank you so much. you've just proven once again why every night i spend an hour watching you on television and not getting drunk. >> or do both. >> be sure to catch "all in with chris" every night, tonight as always, at 8:00 p.m. eastern here on msnbc. coming up, the recovery effort continues in oklahoma, and so, too, does the politics of disaster relief. stay with us. she got a parking ticket... ♪ and she forgot to pay her credit card bill on time. good thing she's got the citi simplicity card. it doesn't charge late fees or a penalty rate. ever. as in never ever. now about that parking ticket. [ grunting ] [ male announcer ] the citi simplicity card is the only card that never has late fees, a penalty rate, or an annual fee, ever. go to citi.com/simplicity to apply.
this is day three now since a deadly tornado struck the town of moore, oklahoma. we have new numbers on the injured, plus an extraordinarily closeup look at the damage inflicted by mother nature. here's craig melvin with the latest. >> reporter: martin, good day to you. i want to show you something. this is a car engine. we though this is not the engine that belongs in this car because if you look closely, you can actually see this car's engine is still in. but this, this is a scene that
we've seen all over moore. cars tossed like hot wheels. in fact, if you look in just this parking lot, alone, you see dozens of them. literally dozens of cars stacked on top of each other. this is what 200 mile winds can do. i want to show you some of the other things in this parking lot. i mean, just in addition to the mangled heap, you see this beam snapped in two. car batteries. even see articles of clothing like this one over here. articles of clothing all over the parking lot. this is the parking lot of tinker federal credit union. this is the bank where 24 folks huddled inside that vault and miraculously were okay. update you here really quickly on the official numbers. 24. that's the number of dead. we don't expect that number to rise. the number of injured, though, has shot up. that number right now, 377. president obama will be here on sunday talking to survivors and victims' families and also some of the first responders. that's the very latest from here
in moore, oklahoma. martin, back to you. >> our thanks to craig melvin. and now a note of appreciation to oklahoma senator tom coburn. you see, mr. coburn chose the very day that this tornado wreaked havoc to rehearse his consistent position on the federal debt. all emergency aid for the victims, he said, must be paid for by cuts in the budget elsewhere. how could he say such a thing? well, according to senator coburn's logic, it's actually because of those children who survived the storm that he's taking this somewhat strange position. he says that if he help them now without offsetting the expense, then it's they who will end up carrying a massive financial burden in the future. i guess we should salute mr. coburn's consistency, even in the wake of a devastating tornado that claimed the lives of ten children. but he might keep one thing in mind. if we don't help the youngest in the midst of disaster, then they won't have a future to speak of.
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that's the impact of global connections. that's bank of america. the president has just delivered a highly anticipated speech at the national defense university seeking to codify standards for the use of drone strikes. he also repeated his longheld conviction that guantanamo bay must be closed. joining us now from the white house is kristen welker. kristen, the president, as i said, once again declared his intentions to close the guantanamo bay detention center. why would he have more success with this now than when he first proposed it in his campaign in 2008? >> reporter: well, martin, there's no indication that he would have more success, but what there is is pressure because that hunger strike is going on at guantanamo bay. 103 out of 166 detainees
currently on a hunger strike. they have drawn a lot of attention to this situation at guantanamo. so that could help to ramp up pressure to get this closed. but there are a lot of republicans who say this is a nonstarter. saxby chambliss, for example. there are some republicans who say, look, we agree with closing guantanamo, like senator mccain, senator lindsey graham. but they say today the president didn't give enough details about how specifically he would do that. so they are calling on the president for more details. what he doesn't have on his side on his very day is public opinion. if you look at a lot of the polls, a majority of americans actually support keeping guantanamo bay open. it is possible that he made some inroads in terms of swaying public opinion today with that speech, but, of course, that's something we'll have to monitor in the coming days and weeks with the new polls that will come out. >> right. kristen, the president said earlier in his speech that neither he nor any president can promise the total defeat of terror. is this tone the starkest
difference between this and the previous administration's counterterrorism policy? is that the severest, stark contrast you've seen? >> reporter: it is, and i think you're right to point that out. that was one of the goals of this speech, to really move away from this term, this idea of the war on terror. senior administration officials saying that from their perspective, from where they sit, they believe that is too broad, too amorphous. the president, today, aimed to really narrow the focus. you heard him make the argument that this is really a turning point in terms of counterterrorism. and he made the point that al qaeda is weakened. we're drawing down the war in afghanistan. i have to tell you, i was just speaking to congressman peter king who made the point that a lot of people don't think that al qaeda has been lincolned. a lot of people like representative king believe it is actually stronger than ever. that's where he's going to get some pushback, particularly on the issue of limiting drone
strikes. some republicans saying that, in fact, they shouldn't be. mart martin? >> nbc's kristen welker at the white house on this thursday afternoon. thank you, kristen. >> reporter: thank you, martin. >> thank you for watching. chris matthews and "hardball" is next. obama tells it like it is. let's play "hardball." good evening, i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. president obama was at the top of his form today speaking logically and authentically to the american people about something truly important. protecting the u.s. in a time of danger. most powerful, i think, fbs the clarity of his arguments regarding drones. the targeting of americans who are making war on their country right now, and what to do with those prisoners down in guantanamo bay. on each point of action he raised the quite reasonable quess